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About qeta

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    Bay Area
  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
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  1. qeta

    Are my activities during a 3-year gap decent?

    @talani_ai I echo others' comments here: your work experience is not going to be a hindrance. Many people take gap years and do unrelated work to pay the bills. Because it's a non-issue, I wouldn't draw attention to the gap in the SOP unless it connects to your proposed doctoral work somehow. Good luck! It's hard to apply to grad school as an international student and especially if you don't know any fellow applicants. Feel free to ask me more questions here or via pm.
  2. @jriveracal I'd vote for the ethnographic paper because it contains original data. Adding a lit review sounds like a good idea too. It would pad out the paper and make it stronger by allowing you to situate your study in relation to existing theories on the topic.
  3. qeta

    Programs in Applied Sociology

    I have some friends in McGill soc. and the funding is poor for all students there, period. Montreal is a cheap and fun city to live in, however. Toronto soc. is well-funded and has a large department. York soc. is quite a good department, but does struggle to fund international students and has the least global portability in terms of job prospects afterwards. If you do decide to apply to Toronto or York, you could look into Ontario Trillium Fellowship for International Students and ask the departments if they would be willing to nominate you. The application process in Canada can be viewed as more of a negotiation than the US ones, in my experience. UMass Boston has a good applied sociology program. My friend got his MA there and that work landed him in UCB soc. And you can't beat Boston in terms of location because there are so many excellent schools in the surrounding area and they have so many South Asianists.
  4. qeta

    'Am I competitive? ' thread (Sociology)

    @Andromeda3921 As a fellow international student, I have to say that public universities have a lot of trouble paying for international students. Berkeley especially struggles in this regard. My Berkeley soc. advisor told me from the beginning to apply to a mix of public and private schools for this reason. Another option is to win doctoral fellowships and emphasize it in your SOP, and then the university doesn't have to worry about paying for you. The low grad GPA (I'm a fellow sufferer in this respect) thing would be a red flag, so please contextualize it. In my SOP, I explicitly mentioned that McGill is famous for not inflating grades and cited Canada's Social Science and Humanities Research Council GPA cutoffs as proof. I also mentioned that I went from an uber-leftist undergrad school to the liberal-conservative mecca of McGill for grad school and it was a systems shock. At least one professor remembered this during my visit and we had a fantastic chat about these schools' different cultures. I called McGill "staid" in my SOP and didn't mention that I was harrassed by the professor who sank my grad GPA. So be strategic about how candid you want to be, but definitely definitely provide reasons for low grad GPA. I also think Brown should perhaps be higher on your list because it and surrounding schools are hard to beat in terms of the number of South Asianists. Brown also has a dedicated institute on spatiality called Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences (S4), which was begun and is run by the soc. department. Patrick Heller considers himself a comparativist and told me that Brown soc. has a long tradition of housing comparativists, so you have an advantage there. Cornell Development Sociology, though a niche program, could be a good fit. I can answer some questions about both departments, if you'd like. Stanford is quite quant-heavy and it's hard-but-not-impossible to survive as a qual person there according to one of my profs. We have a lot of the same interests (spatiality, qual methodology, comparative sociology, sociology of development, and South Asia namely). So feel free to ask specific questions related to those things or more general questions here or through PM.
  5. qeta

    'Am I competitive? ' thread (Sociology)

    @jriveracal Speaking from personal experience, good letters from Berkeley soc. profs and extensive research experience go a long way. These are the things people asked me about when I went to campuses on admitted student visit days: they asked how my Berkeley recommender was doing and mentioned what a glowing letter she wrote for me; they also inquired about my various research projects. I think if you bring up your GRE scores a bit more (in the mid-to-late 150s) and craft kick-ass writing samples (sometime you have the option to upload two), your chances would be excellent at any school. Feel free to ask any other questions you may have here or over PM. I could also try to answer questions about Brown if anyone is interested, but at this point I have only spent a couple of days there when the faculty was putting on a good face. Edited to add that you should always opt for recommendation letters from professors or PhD-holding researchers who are employed at think tanks or institutes/ departments within universities, instead of TAs or GSIs who are graduate students.
  6. My research interests revolve around the co-formation and co-articulation of class, caste, ethnicity, and race over time and space in South Asia. I do a lot of thinking along the same lines in terms of North America and immigration/ racialization/ class formation as well and just started an additional project on the South Asian diaspora in North America (exciting, as well as terrifying even with a co-author!!). What do you work on? I've never met a deadline I couldn't find a way to disregard, so I wish you were right about that aspect! But readers of my thesis and other writings generally comment that I'm a rigorous and careful scholar. My search for rigor often drives me nuts, so I get lost too - just in empirical details and the nitty-gritty of research design. You are also right about the praxis part: the real-world implications of my projects are generally the first to pop into my mind and sometimes I work backwards from policy implications to establishing puzzle too. But I really wish you were right about the deadlines, lol.
  7. qeta

    How are you deciding?

    Fit was not really a consideration for me, as I only applied to schools with very good fit. In the end, I chose the place with the best funding, placement record, and professionally collegial (non-cliquey) atmosphere.
  8. I wouldn't go to a department whose culture I don't like. Having a supportive cohort was extremely important to me, and I cut out many departments from my list because they encouraged competition between peers more than collaboration. Some people thrive in competition, but I find it stressful and unpleasant.
  9. qeta

    WSU Admission Acceptance Deadline

    I think April 15 is generally the last day to accept offers at all schools.
  10. I've been in your position before insofar as I was in a political science MA program and wanted to move into sociology for doctoral studies. I also recommend that you finish your current program and show your interest in and aptitude for sociology in other ways. My thesis cited a lot of sociologists and was built around a number of sociological theories. I also took 2 sociology classes, presented at sociology conferences, worked with sociologists on research projects, and got recommendation letters from sociologists. The recommendation letters were very important because people mentioned the sociologists who wrote them during my post-acceptance school visits. They also liked my writing samples and clearly thought of them as sociological works. Dropping out of programs could be a red flag for some people on adcomms, and so sticking with your current program while adjusting your research agenda towards sociology in some obvious ways may be a way forward.
  11. qeta

    Idea: Gradcafe Soci GroupMe?

    @KevinJHa You're one of the coolest and nicest people on this board and, hell yeah, I want to stay connected with you and all other likeminded, collegial folks! Congrats on Northeastern - if I end up at Brown, we'll be neighbours.
  12. qeta

    Sociology masters or PhD?

    University of Toronto has a funded one-year MA program. They apparently get 150 applications and accept ten students per year.
  13. qeta

    Select a program, not a professor

    Dear @faculty, I hope you won't mind me posting some similar advice from my mentor. I just had a Skype call with her yesterday, in preparation for visiting three schools, and this is the advice she gave me: Make sure you are going to a program where at least two professors can advise you. Assign at least equal value on feedback from current grad students (vis-a-vis feedback from faculty) on sensitive issues like funding, professional development, and placement. If you're coming in with an MA, ask the department whether your previous thesis can take care of the MA paper requirement. If you have sufficient quant training, ask if you can take fewer introductory stats classes. Teaching load in the first and second year can hugely affect your progress in the program. A lower teaching load in those two years would ensure you have time to (almost) finish your coursework and prep for your comprehensive in the third year. Ask the department what possibilities there are for lessening your teaching loads, whether through fellowships within the department, an associated research centre or the university, research assistantships, grading work (instead of teaching), and outside funding (ask if students from the department routinely win external fellowship competitions). Hope this helps!
  14. Partly from rejection letter, partly from a current grad student in the program. When I was researching schools, a lot of them noted the average number of applications received on the FAQ page. Some departments mentioned the number of acceptances and expected cohort sizes (e.g.: Berkeley). You can also use the r-vest package on R to cull data from your schools of interest from the results page on this site and get an idea of average acceptance numbers. I can share my (rather inelegant) R code if you're interested.
  15. Hi @ThePastelCalico, I am sorry you're feeling so down about the Wisconsin rejection. I have also gone to schools that I regretted attending (ahem, McGill poli. sci.) and consequently am extremely stressed about making the right choice now. So I understand your feelings. At the same time, Wisconsin is a very highly ranked program that also admitted a very small pool of applicants this year due to funding issues. You not getting in only means that you weren't among the top eight applicants, not that you aren't capable of excellent sociology research. You must also take into account that you work on topics related to a very small subfield, as do I with my emphasis on sociology of development. Finally, I can't stress this enough: the academic caste system is real, whether one likes it or not. The only reason I could make the terrible situation at McGill work for me somewhat was because the McGill name (and my own research capacity) allowed me to network with folks at even higher ranked institutions through conferences, archival visits, and exchanges. Your supervisor and advisors/mentors at NC State can help you with this a lot. There are a lot of gatekeepers in academia who keep the caste system alive and thriving, along with many people who perhaps don't reflect on how the caste system is reproduced and thus end up benignly reproducing it. I have read about your research on this forum with a lot of interest and it seems great to me as someone who is also somewhat interested in environmental/ rural sociology. So keep doing the awesome work, take advantage of opportunities because signals of productivity and networking matter quite a lot, and use some strategies to get past the gatekeepers. We can also talk more via PMs.

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